Loving God, Loving Our Neighbors
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
As United Methodist Christians, we believe - as did the founder of the Methodist Movement, John Wesley - that Christians must do both Works of Piety and Works of Mercy in order to move on toward Christian perfection.
Works of Piety are practices that draw us into God’s presence so we hear God’s still, small voice guiding us, God’s song of redemption sung over us, and God’s words of promise to always be with us. These works of piety are practiced in private when it is just God and us. They are also lived out publicly in corporate worship or small groups. Works of piety include reading scripture, praying, fasting, and taking time for solitude.
Works of Mercy, are practices that draw us closer to one another through the presence of the Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that His followers would be recognized for how they loved and served one another. Scholars have noted about John Wesleyand the Methodists that “it was not so much that the Methodists were among the poor as the poor were among the Methodists.”
Do no harm,
Stay in love with God
- John Wesley-
In other words, a shared life together which crosses economic, social, or ethnic boundaries and calls people to inward and outward expressions of holy love is the calling of the Christian life. To hear the cry of the needy is to hear the cry of all of God’s children - the orphaned child in Uganda, the single mother in Duluth, the homeless man on the corner of Hennepin Avenue, the CEO in St. Paul, the migrant worker from Mexico, and the family in the suburbs. To hear and respond to the cry of human need has been God’s work of reconciliation from the beginning of time. For God is rich in mercy and has made us alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5), and His justice will roll like a river (Amos 5:24). In these promises, we place our faith and hope.
These simple rules for living form the structure of what it means to obey the Great Commandment which is expressed in two ways: love God and love neighbor. But these rules also bring about questions and call us to action. What does it mean to be loved, do no harm, do good and abide in God’s love? How do I (we) follow this blueprint to wholeness? For John Wesley these three simple rules came to life in Wesley’s practical, daily responses to loving God and loving neighbor, such as:
· Living modestly and giving all he could to help people who were poor;
· Visiting people in prison and providing them with spiritual guidance, food and clothing;
· Speaking out against slavery which deprived humanity of freedom and dignity and forbade it in Methodism;
· Publishing books, pamphlets, and magazines for the education of the people;
· Teaching and writing about good health care practices, dispensing medicine from his chapels, and speaking out against health care which favored only those with money and denied care and compassion for the poor;
· Encouraging his small groups to be among the poor, to visit the sick, and to witness with their eyes the deplorable conditions of those who go without basic necessities of life.
Through the Outreach Ministries of The PORT, we love God by serving our neighbors through Cornerstone, Feed My Starving Children, VEAP, Habitat for Humanity, Wesley United Methodist Church Saturday Meals, and many other places. We give all that we can to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and to six Special United Methodist Sundays that benefit many different groups of people including Native Americans, Students, groups that work for Peace and Justice . . . and many more.
Join us whenever you can to do all the good you can. You are always welcome.
Rally Sunday 2013
RALLY SUNDAY is September 8, 2013
"The PORT" begins a new church season, September through May. The choir returns from summer break and Sunday School for kids and adults begins once again. Join us as we begin another year of congregational life!
We'll be hosting a "Portluck" luncheon in Fellowship Hall immediately following the church service. Everyone is invited and encouraged to bring a dish to share . . . salad, veggies, sloppy joes, dessert, etc. Beverages will be provided for all.
Monthly online editions of the Portlight Newsletter
(PDF versions may vary slightly from the printed edition)
click the date below.
Upper Room Daily Devotional
For today's devotional lesson click here.
Faith Formation for Adults
Adult Sunday School
Adults are invited to join together from 8:45 - 9:45 am each week (September-May) for a time of prayer followed by discussion of a wide range of study materials. Plans for our classes meeting on Sunday mornings this coming fall (2013) are pending. Stay tuned for details.
We'll resume small group gatherings in the fall, 2013. Watch for details.
Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!
Psalm 15:1-6 (New Revised Standard Version)
Every Sunday at 10 am, we gather at Portland Avenue UMC to remember and celebrate what God has done in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Worship on Sunday is a symbol like the cross or the Apostles' Creed. When we gather to worship on Sunday, it signifies who we are and to whom we belong as those who share Christ's dying and rising. On this day, we experience and celebrate God's abiding presence with us through the Holy Spirit. On this day, we anticipate and celebrate what God promises to do in our lives and in our world.
Our weekly worship services include choral, ensemble and solo music in traditional and more contemporary styles. We pray with one another, we read Scripture and apply it to our own lives through the message (sermon), and we offer our gifts and lives to God.
Come as you are. Come when you are able. Come to be part of the celebration of God’s great works in our lives. Everyone is welcome here.
About Our Music
We have an exciting and meaningful music ministry. Music is very important to us, and members of the church are encouraged to share their musical gifts either vocally or instrumentally.
Sanctuary Choir is a group of approximately 25 voices that sings weekly from mid-September to mid-May. The choir year ends with The Great Day of Music where the scriptures and even the sermon are done musically. The choir’s repertoire is large, and includes a wide variety of music such as classical sacred music, spirituals, music from other lands, bluegrass and an occasional jazz number. We also perform a Christmas cantata and Easter program, usually with a full orchestra.
SonRise is a contemporary Christian Women's singing group that sings a wide range of music, from reverent 4-6 part harmony to very lively jazz and gospel pieces. Variety is the spice of this group's selections! SonRise sings the first & third Sundays of the month as well as holidays during the school year. Please join us!
Handbell Choir is an adult group of men and women which rehearses Sundays at 8:45 a.m. (September through May) and rings at worship services the fourth Sunday of the month. Ringing three octaves of Schulmerich handbells and two octaves of handchimes, the group plays a wide range of traditional and contemporary sacred music. Persons interested in joining the choir are asked to contact the director, Mary Nelson. Prior ringing experience is not necessary; prospective members should have played the piano or a band/orchestra instrument in the past and have a willingness to faithfully attend rehearsals.
Messengers is a male ensemble (3-4 parts) which rehearses weekly (during the day) and sings periodically in worship and for special occasions.
Portland Avenue United Methodist Church - "The PORT" - is located 2 blocks south of Interstate 494 at Portland Avenue and American Boulevard. We are less than 2 miles from the Mall Of America
In September 1953, the Methodist Union purchased a 5-acre tract of land on Portland Avenue at 80th Street in Bloomington. Three existing buildings served as our first church: a former implement display room for Johnson Hardware was converted to a sanctuary, a 3 car garage became the education unit, and the Cape Cod style house served as both parsonage and office. On Sunday mornings the adult Sunday school class met in an upstairs bedroom, the high school class met in the basement, the toddler nursery was in the living room and the infants were laid on a bed upstairs.
The church was officially chartered on March 14, 1954 with 34 members, led by part-time supply pastor Jim Jacobsen. In June, the Rev. Thomas Griffith was appointed full time to the growing congregation. That summer Vacation Bible School was held in army tents for 250 children. The church continued to grow with the addition of many young couples. In 1958, construction of the sanctuary/fellowship hall, kitchen, and classrooms began.
The Men's Club hosted pancake suppers in the new building and began the annual Retired Ministers Banquet; the Women's Society held mother-daughter banquets and ice cream socials. The building also provided a place for the Jet Cadet group of grade schoolers to meet as well as a place for Couples' Club activities. The Port, a free clothing and household supply depot for the needy, was held in the old parsonage basement after a new parsonage was built at 85th & Columbus. The first Bazaar, a rousing success, was held in 1976, and has continued every year since.
Soon the first building became crowded, and a second stage of expansion was necessary. The current sanctuary and education wing was consecrated in February 1972. Many of the church's first families are still active in the life of the congregation. Of course, they have been joined by new members of all ages.
PAUMC is proud of its reputation as an active, friendly church with a great music program. We welcome one and all.